Union manager John Hackworth summed it best following his club’s 2-0 road loss to New England Saturday night:
“That was not reflective of the kind of game we are capable of playing. And it was probably our worst performance on the year so far. In a lot of ways, it’s frustrating because we’ve been playing consistent and in the way we tried to plan tonight – it just wasn’t the same.”
What remained the same was the lineup Hackworth unveiled, the same group that fueled a 3-2 win over D.C. United the week before. But on this night, a night in which the Revolution were playing for the pride of Boston in the wake of the terror attack at the Boston Marathon, the Union were unable to capitalize on chances and dropped a result to New England for the first time in club history.
“Disappointing,” said Union defender Jeff Parke. “They are a decent team but we made them look a lot better than they were. We gave chances and they punished us, so it’s a game we felt we should’ve gotten at least a result and it’s one we go home with zero points…and that’s just disappointing.”
Both chances for New England arrived in the second half, starting in the 61st minute when forward Diego Fagundez scored his first of the season for New England finishing off a slotted ball into the box from midfielder Kelyn Rowe. The Revolution struck again in the 72nd after when Lee Nguyen finished off a play he started sending a ball into space for forward Saer Sene. Sene had his initial shot stalled by Union keeper Zac MacMath, however, the deflection fell to the feet of Nguyen, who continued his run into the box and had a wide open look on goal – which he thumped past MacMath.
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The game marked the first multi-goal match of the season for the Revolution which improved to 2-3-2 (eight points) in MLS play. For the Union, they fell to 3-3-2 (11 points) on the year.
“I thought there were a lot of things we could have done better…it just wasn’t our night offensively, defensively having possession of the ball and making plays that we generally make – it just wasn’t there tonight,” said Union captain Brian Carroll.
The Union did show flashes of brilliance perhaps one of the biggest plays in the 40th minute, when midfielder Danny Cruz flashed down the right flank and served a ball in, flicked on by Jack McInerney and fell to midfielder Michael Farfan. Farfan made a move to create space but his shot was tipped away by Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttlesworth, one of his four saves.
In the 83rd, McInerney was sent in on a breakaway after an attempted header back between a pair of Revolution defenders went awry, but his shot in the box was also stymied by Shuttlesworth.
“We had chances and we didn’t take advantage of them,” said Hackworth. “Shuttlesworth makes a few good saves as well and keeps them in the game and then I thought we came out in the second half and where actually playing much better, we had numbers forward…but [this kind] of play is not reflective of our team.”
The Union will look to shake this off and prepare for a return to PPL Park for a match next Saturday (4 p.m., 6abc) against the Seattle Sounders and their new designated player Obafemi Martins. It’ll be the first home match for the Union in two games, a place the team collectively wants to return to the “fortress” of years past.
“It’s a long year, it’s a disappointing result, but it’s a long year, said Carroll. “We have to move on and be better in the next one – plain and simple.”
Contact Union writer Kerith Gabriel at email@example.com